Swimming Teacher

Job Description:

Swimming teachers help people learn how to swim, improve their swimming skills and to exercise in water.

Job Category:

What you will do:

During your day-to-day duties, you could:

  • teach or coach one-to-one or in groups
  • plan and deliver sessions
  • demonstrate correct swimming techniques
  • identify ways to improve performance
  • make sure safety standards are followed
  • check life-saving equipment is in working order
  • organise and supervise assistants and helpers
  • provide first aid for minor injuries or accidents


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creativity)

Restrictions and Requirements

You’ll need to:

  • pass enhanced background checks as you may work with children and vulnerable adults
  • be over 16 years of age
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a swimming teacher, specific GCSE subjects are not typically required, as the role focuses on practical swimming skills, teaching techniques, and safety knowledge. Swimming teachers play a vital role in teaching individuals of all ages how to swim and promoting water safety. Here are some relevant GCSE subjects that can be beneficial for becoming a swimming teacher:

Relevant GCSE Subjects

  1. Physical Education (PE): Provides a foundation for physical fitness, understanding of exercise, movement, and sports.
  2. Biology: Basic knowledge of human anatomy, respiration, and how the body interacts with water.
  3. English: Effective communication skills to explain techniques and provide instructions to students.
  4. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for measuring performance metrics, creating training plans, and analyzing data.
  5. Psychology: Understanding of human behavior, motivation, and mental aspects of coaching and training.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • training with a professional body

You can complete a leisure team member intermediate apprenticeship.

In the UK, as part of this apprenticeship you will be able to gain one of the following qualifications:

  • Swim England Level 2 in Teaching Swimming
  • Swimming Teacher Association
  • (STA) Level 2 Certificate in Teaching Swimming

Other Routes
In the UK, you can qualify as a swimming teacher by doing Level 1 and Level 2 teaching qualifications awarded by Swim England or the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA).

These qualifications will allow you to teach non-swimmers, improvers and people looking to learn advanced swimming skills.

You may be able to train on the job and become qualified while you work. This would depend on your employer.

Courses are generally delivered flexibly so you can fit them around other commitments you may have.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at a fitness centre or at a school.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and humid.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could be a swim co-ordinator or lead swimming teacher, checking the quality of swimming teachers.

You could work as the head coach of a sports club, or senior coach with a regional or national team.

You could also move into elite sports coaching, sports development or youth work.